I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty, if it is proposed to make any addition to the Channel Fleet; if so, what ships will be affected; from what divisions are they to be drawn; and what steps will be taken to replace the ships thus transferred?
The armoured cruisers "Black Prince" and "Duke of Edinburgh" will be added to the First Cruiser Squadron, and the two destroyer flotillas at Portland, with their attendant vessels, will be attached to the Channel Fleet for the present. The "Black Prince" is now in the Second Cruiser Squadron, and will be replaced there by the "Carnarvon." The "Duke of Edinburgh" comes from the Fifth Cruiser Squadron, and will be replaced shortly. The destroyers, which have hitherto formed part of the Home Fleet, are merely transferred to another command, and it is not at present intended to increase the total number of active service destroyers in Home waters in view of the large number with four-fifths crews which are attached to the Home Fleet?
Is it in contemplation to transfer any battleships to the Channel Fleet?
No, Sir. I have said the armoured cruisers "Black Prince" and "Duke of Edinburgh" are to be transferred.